And don't worry; we've skipped the usual tourist-packed sites and bizarre arts and crafts in far-flung corners of Dade in favor of actual cool things that you'll be psyched to try, like beachside yoga and a posh Champagne happy hour—all open to the public, and, most importantly, all gratis. So, go ahead and experience the city's luxe life. Trust—you may never feel this free again.
Photos (clockwise from left): Via Equinox, Courtesy of The Miami Beach Scene, and Via The Standard
Free Volleyball Lessons with Equinox
Ever see those volleyball players spiking the balls aside Ocean Drive? Ever feel intimidated? Well fret no more, because Equinox has you covered with free volleyball lessons! Join them Saturdays on Eighth Avenue for classes taught by V-ball instructor Andreas Olesen. London 2012, here we come!
Where: The beach at 8th Avenue and Ocean Drive; 305-673-1172
When: Saturdays; 10 a.m.
Emerge Critical Mass
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, just your friendly neighborhood bicyclists flying right by you as you sit through traffic light after traffic light. But don’t get your seat belts in a jumble; join in on the self-propelled fun! On the last Friday of every month, join a caravan of bikers and bladers as they pedal through Miami and enjoy some well-deserved grub and drink specials at the end point.
Where: 111 NW 1st Street (at NW 2nd Avenue).
When: Last Friday of every month, 6:30 p.m.
The Standard Lazy BBQ
It's Sunday, the day of rest. You have no reason to be out, running errands, so go head on over to the Standard Miami's docks, hang out near the Mud Baths or splash around in the ocean, and eat some delish bee-bee-que. DJs and guests make frequent appearances.
Where: The Standard Miami; 40 Island Avenue; 305-673-1717.
When: Sundays, from 4 to 9 p.m.
Free Fridays at the Wolfsonian
Ever wonder what that fortress-looking building on SoBe is? We used to, too ... until we discovered it's the Wolfsonian and that it opens up its doors to art-loving penny-pinchers on Fridays. Exhibits right now include “Art and Design in the Modern Age,” “Improving the Modern Home,” “Graphic Intervention: 25 Years of International AIDS Awareness Posters,” and “Visions of Victory: Picturing the Spanish-American War.” Where: 1001 Washington Avenue (at 10th Street); 305-531-1001.
When: Every Friday, 6 to 9 p.m.
Sometimes, you just need a classic night at the movies. But what if you could skip out on the $10 ticket for doing good? Donate some blood at the donation truck parked right outside Regal’s doors and catch a free flick. By golly, it’s an offer we can’t refuse.
Where: 1120 Lincoln Road (At Alton Road); 305-674-6766.
Champagne Happy Hour
Just in case you thought life couldn’t get any better for us girls (wait, did we really just say that?) you may now kick off your stilletos and enjoy complimentary champagne, Monday through Friday at the Highbar at the Dream Hotel. Just sit back, relax, and let the evening bubbly flow.
Where: 1111 Collins Avenue (at 11th Street); 305-534-8455
When: Monday through Friday, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Photos (clockwise from left): Courtesy of The Rhythm Foundation, Bakehouse Art Complex, The Miami Art Museum
Big Night in Little Haiti
If Miami is a mixing bowl of cultures, then Haiti definitely gives our city that spice a la creole. Experience it live every third Friday of the month with a colorful celebration of live music, art exhibits, and lots of dancing. Sak pase? A cultural immersion you won’t want to pass up.
Where: 212 NE 59th Terrace (At NE 2nd Avenue); 305-960-2969
When: Friday, July 20; 6:30 to 10 p.m.
Bakehouse Artist Complex
The cutting edge of the cutting edge turn to the not-for-profit, community, and professional-based studios inside the Bakehouse Artist Complex. With artist-led classes and activities, visitors can drop in and see exhibitions — or if they want to pony up a nominal free, take a class or two. Bottom line: homegrown Miami art, open to all.
Where: Bakehouse Artist Complex, 561 NW 32nd Street; 305-576-2828
When: Daily from noon to 5 p.m.
Miami Art Museum
Looking for a culture-filled Saturday? Check out the exhibits at Miami Art Museum, which opens its doors for museum walks au gratis every second Saturday of the month. From international works to video installations, this museum is a contemporary must-see for Miamians everywhere.
Where: 101 West Flagler Street (Near NW 2nd Avenue); 305-375-3000.
When: Second Saturday of the month; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nothing cures the soul like a good ole belly chuckle at the Improv. And here’s an insider's tip: If you get yourself on the VIP list, the laughs are on the house. Yes, you heard right — free shows at the Improv if you request to be on their VIP list. You’ll be laughing so hard at the show, you won’t even notice the two-drink minimum.
Where: 3390 Mary Street (At Grand Avenue); 305-441-8200.
The Barnacle Historic State Park
If you’re due for your annual history fix, not to mention some quality time with Mother Nature, head on over to The Barnacle. Nestled in the heart of Coconut Grove, the park offers everything from tours through Miami’s oldest house in its original locale, wildlife viewing and killer trails through hardwood hammocks, and the chance to get your namaste on with yoga by the sea on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Where: 3485 Main Highway (At Munroe Drive); 305-442-6866.
When: Friday through Monday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Readings at Books & Books
What do Theresa Guidice and Fifty Shades’ E.L. James have in common, besides writing NY Times best sellers? They’ve both mandated the floors of a Books & Books here in Miami, and they aren’t the last authors to do so. Enjoy free author readings and signings at any of their locations, and don’t forget to browse through the shelves. Their collection of novels and photography books are amazeballs. Where: Various Locations
When: Various events throughout the month
Photos (clockwise from left): Via Bayfront Park Miami, Courtesy of MOCA, Courtesy of Erica Osborne
Yoga in the Park in Bayfront Park
Forget the hot yoga; we like ours with a view. Indulge in 75 minutes of complimentary namaste every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Bring your own mat, towel, and H2O for a downward dog-on good time. Where: 301 North Biscayne Boulevard (At SE 2nd Street); 305-358-7550.
When: Monday and Wednesdays, 6 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m.
Live Jazz at MOCA
Nothing gets your libido going like the sultry sounds of a jazz band, especially one playing live and under the stars. With different performers every last Friday of the month, it’s no wonder Jazz at Moca has become a SoFla mainstay. Hit it, Satchmo.
Where: 770 NE 125th Street; 305-893-6211
When: Last Friday of every month; 8 to 10 p.m.
Miami Performance International Festival
In Miami, we love festivals. Now add some visual art, dance, and poetry to the mix, and we’ve got ourselves a little cultural smorgasbord. For three days, enjoy live performances, workshops, lectures and talks by artists hand selected from around the world. Is it appropriate to whip out the French berets?
Where: Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 150 NE 40th Street (at Collins Avenue); 305-673-7256.
When: Thursday, July 26 through July 29.
In the mood for some funk? What about some reggae? Cumbia, anyone? When you’re at Jazid, there’s no need to choose — this place has it all! Being the longest running nightclub in Miami, it must be doing something right. Maybe it’s the live music ... every damn night ... whether it's karaoke, swing, jazz, or any other genre you could probably think of. Yes, there’s a slight cover, but we’ll let you in on the secret: complimentary entry before 11 p.m.
Where: 1342 Washington Avenue (at 14th Street); 305-673-9372.
When: Doors open at 9 p.m. every night.